Tag Archives: conflict poetry

Conflict Poetry: “Epitaphs of War” Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling, often seen as jingoistic poet, persuaded his only son to volunteer for the First World War, where he was killed six weeks after his 18th birthday at the Battle of Loos in 1915. His body was never found. … Continue reading

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Rage Against the Dying of the Light

Given we live in scoundrel times, or as the Chinese curse puts it: “may you live in interesting times”, I have always struggled personally on the conflict between the Edmund Burke’s (1729-1797) saying: “The only thing necessary for the triumph … Continue reading

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Quarto: Conflict Poem by Adrienne Rich (1929-2012)

Quarto June 8, 2009 1. Call me Sebastian, arrows sticking all over The map of my battlefields. Marathon. Wounded Knee. Vicksburg. Jericho. Battle of the Overpass. Victories turned inside out But no surrender Cemeteries of remorse The beaten champion sobbing … Continue reading

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In Memoriam: My Friend Karl Pohrt 1947-2013

My  dear friend Karl died on July 10th 2013, and this Gary Snyder poem was read out at his memorial service today, and though not explicitly about conflict, it does say something profound that can center us in the everyday … Continue reading

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Conflict Poem: ‘The Quarrel’ by Conrad Aitkin (1889-1973)

Suddenly, after the quarrel, while we waited, Disheartened, silent, with downcast looks, nor stirred Eyelid nor finger, hopeless both, yet hoping Against all hope to unsay the sundering word: While all the room’s stillness deepened, deepened about us And each … Continue reading

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Conflict Poem: Adrienne Rich (1929-2012): ‘An Atlas of the Difficult World’

    Here is a map of our country: here is the Sea of Indifference, glazed with salt This is the haunted river flowing from brow to groin we dare not taste its water This is the desert where missiles … Continue reading

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Boston Marathon Murders: ‘No Man is an Island’ Conflict Poem by John Donne (1572-1631)

I am this morning, after the murders in Boston, reminded of John Donne’s marvelous poem ‘No Man is an Island’ that also inspired the title and theme of Ernest Hemingway’s (1899-1961) book about the Spanish Civil War: ‘For Whom the … Continue reading

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Luck in Sarajevo: Conflict Poem by Izet Sarajlic (1930-2002) translated by Charles Simic

In Sarajevo In the spring of 1992,  Everything is possible: You go stand in a bread line And end up inn an emergency room With your leg amputated. Afterwards, you still maintain That you were very lucky.

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All of These People: Conflict Poem by Michael Longley (1939-)

Who was it who suggested that the opposite of war Is not so much peace as civilization? He knew Our assassinated Catholic greengrocer who died At Christmas in the arms of our Methodist minister,  And our ice-cream man who continuing … Continue reading

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Conflict Poem:’The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner’ by Randall Jarrell (1914-65)

I sometimes think that because we find change hard, rather than use systematic ways to better address our conflicts, we would rather go on killing each other, suing each other, divorcing each other, depressing each other, and generally doing all … Continue reading

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